<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Days after Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) barred its students from organising protests at its administration block, the varsity barricaded the space on Monday.The area outside the administration block is popularly known as “Freedom Square” after the February 9 incident, when anti-national slogans were allegedly raised by a few students, following which three were arrested, including the then students’ union President Kanhaiya Kumar.The varsity administration has been at loggerheads with students following the mysterious disappearance of MSc student Najeeb Ahmed, who went missing on October 15 after a scuffle with ABVP members at the Mahi Mandavi hostel.Students said they noticed the barricade late on Sunday night when they reached the spot after organising a protest march over the varsity’s alleged attempt to shield Najeeb’s “assaulters”.”We were returning after a protest march against the Vice-Chancellor’s attempt to shield ABVP members who assaulted Najeeb at about 1 am on Sunday when we saw the barricade obstructing Freedom Square,” said JNU Students’ Union President Mohit Pandey.Terming it as an attempt to crush students’ freedom to dissent, Pandey said, “The VC is constantly trying to crush the voices raised against him and his administration. First they sent us notices telling us not to organise protests at the administration block, and now they have turned it into a jail-like structure.”The administration officials, however, claimed the decision was taken due to a space crunch at the building. The barricaded space will now be used for official purposes only. “The fence has been put up on the inner side of the block to make some space,” an official said.Recently, the VC’s office issued notices against some students, including Pandey, for putting up posters at the administration block. They has also barred students from organising protests in the area.

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JNU’s ‘Freedom Square’ barricaded by steel wall, students cry foul